As I pick up the packet of popcorn, I am reminded of the beautiful memories I had until I moved away from home. The early morning walk across the neighbourhood to gather any sort of wood that would be the main constituent of the evening bonfire. I still remember how every house had a perfectly arranged bonfire with kids surrounding it, to win the chance of being the one who lights the bonfire. The fire was lit and the ritual of eating more popcorn and throwing less into the bonfire began. Like every kid, Lohri was a favourite, just because you had yet another excuse to eat popcorn.
I still remember how my grandmother would chide all us children to behave properly if we wanted to get her token of love. The ritual was broken by the noise of dhol coming towards us. Unable to wait for it to come to us, we would run and break into a dance every now and then. Delicious food cooked by grandmother awaited us. Every Punjabi householdâ€™s favourite dahi bhalla was always on the menu but everything else was different every year.
All these memories remained embedded in my mind but every year the Lohri gift sent by my mother sent me whooshing back to the days when I was still a little child who danced to the tunes of the dhol waiting for the delicious Barfi made by my grandmother. The importance of receiving was always undermined until now..